web analytics

Are pageviews really obsolete?




EvHead says so and explains why:

Remember when web site traffic was talked about in terms of “hits”? You’d read about how many millions of hits Netscape got per month and other sites bragged about getting 30,000 hits a day. Eventually, we moved away from the term hit because everyone realized it was pretty meaningless. You see, a hit was often counted (depending on who was counting them) not just for a page load, but for every element (e.g., graphic) included on the page, as well. One visit of this page, for example, would be worth about 40 hits (if the browser had images turned on). But a site that was less graphical and had equal usage would register half the hits.


Pageviews replaced hits as the primary traffic metric not just because they’re more meaningful, but because it also determined how many ads could be served. Ads were sold primarily on a CPM basis, so multiply your CPM by every 1,000 pageviews you got, and that’s your dot-com revenue.

There are only two reasons why pageviews are still regarded as a useful indicator — (1) they somewhat represent the number of ad impressions for advertisers and (2) they also indicate the stickiness of the website by the number of pageviews per unique visitor. Forums used to have the egde when we talk about pageviews, now Web 2.0 sites are also changing how we view sites.

Today, we always refer to uniques as the ultimate indicator of popularity and reach. At least, that’s how I look at it.



Abe is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of YugaTech. You Can follow him on Twitter @abeolandres.

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7 Responses

  1. AnP says:

    In one of the networks I blog for, they monitor the page views as it is the most beneficial number for advertisers.

  2. I wonder when stat programs will be able to better track not just page views, but also “page actions” — it would be great to see which pages resulted in a sale or subscription to an email list.

  3. Connie says:

    Page views indicate “continuing relevance” (ergo, attractiveness to surfers) of content vis a vis how long ago it has been posted.

  4. j4s0n says:

    hrrrrrmmm, so it means if you have pageviews almost the same amount as your uniques, that means people don’t like your site and don’t bothered to browse anymore on it because they leave immediately. Mwahahaha!

    Well of course, with exception to old visitors who already knew your content, that’s just looking for new posts.

    :D

  5. Marc says:

    High uniques count may mean very good organic rankings. High page imps may mean very sticky site. They usually go hand in hand when checking a site’s health.

    Re: Manuel’s comment below, most of the mid/high end analytics packages can track “page actions”. It’s really a beauty when you can see the entire clickpath, from the initial click to the thank you page. I consider myself lucky because it’s not everyday you get to play with Omniture here in the Philippines :)

  6. meinardus says:

    interesting post, guru. what would be a good ration of unique visitors and pageviews for, let’s say, a political site or blog? what strikes me, the stickiness of my blog is higher than that of my institute’s website (www.fnf.org.ph) which has tons of material and, i think, a well thought of navigation. pleae have a look, and tell me more in .. taiwan!

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